§ 68. Mr. Henderson Stewart
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether any provision is being made in his long-term policy for the eradication of disease in livestock, for reducing the mortality caused by grass sickness in horses, disease in poultry, and swine fever among pigs?
§ Mr. Ramsbotham
The Government's policy for the eradication of disease in livestock, which my right hon. Friend announced last Thursday, will extend, as circumstances permit, to all classes of farm animals, including poultry, although efforts will mainly be directed in the first instance to the eradication of disease among cattle. It is impracticable, in the 1018 present state of knowledge, to recommend immediate measures for reducing the mortality caused by grass sickness in horses. As regards poultry diseases, my right hon. Friend is considering what steps can usefully be taken pending the report of the Technical Committee, which is examining methods of distribution of breeding-stock, hatching-eggs and day-old chicks, with particular reference to mortality. The policy now in force for the control of swine fever will continue. Research in all these matters is being actively pursued under the auspices of the Agricultural Research Council in collaboration with the Agricultural Departments.
While thanking the hon. Gentleman for his answer, may I ask him whether he is aware, with regard to grass sickness in horses, that it is the general view, both of persons engaged in research and of farmers in Scotland, that it is lack of adequate funds which is largely responsible for the inadequacy of research at the present time?